Negotiating table

Spanish government supports Aragonès' decision to exclude JxCat from negotiating table

Sánchez rejects the two-year limit on the negotiating table

3 min
Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez at a press conference

MadridThe Spanish government will attend the negotiating table this Wednesday afternoon, regardless of the crisis its composition has sparked in the Catalan government. Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez has closed ranks with the decision made by Catalan President Pere Aragonès to attend only accompanied by Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) ministers, after its coalition partner, Together for Catalonia (JxCat), named a delegation which included politicians who are not part of the Catalan cabinet. "We support the proposal the president of the Generalitat has launched," said the Minister of Territorial Policy, who considered that he has legitimacy to choose who will represent him at the negotiating table. In the same way, Sánchez has chosen the ministers who will participate, she said. Government sources add that they believe the meeting will keep its legitimacy even if JxCat members do not attend.

"The framework has always been that of two taskforces from two governments. The scope is for understanding between the two governments. We would not understand any other framework", Rodríguez has assured, in the same line as the Catalan government. Podemos has also backed Aragonès's decision to exclude JxCat, accusing the party of seeking to excuses to "derail" the negotiating table.

Prioritising aspects which can lead to agreements

Rodríguez has not wanted to rub salt and the wound and expressed her confidence in the Generalitat coming to the dialogue table. She also followed the recent government trend of leaving the underlying conflict in the background and focusing instead on economic recovery after the pandemic. "We believe the Generalitat will be interested in making its territory to advance in the same line as Spain," said the minister, recalling the European funds are expected soon.

Sánchez has insisted on this message from the Senate, where he has reappeared to undergo the first question session after the summer break. To questions from ERC's Mirella Cortés, the head of the Spanish executive has again rejected the referendum on self-determination, has asked the independence to make "self-criticism" for the events of 2017 and "listen" to the Catalan society that felt "attacked by its own institutions". "If you can only talk about self-determination and amnesty, is this a dialogue or an imposition? Did you not want us to sit and talk? Well, let's st and talk about what we can agree on," said the socialist leader. in order "to avoid frustration", Sánchez has also asked ERC not to set deadlines for the negotiating table. Aragonès agreed to sit a no-confidence vote after two years, in which the progress of the negotiating table would be assessed. The Spanish president has warned that the conflict will not be resolved "either in two, nor in three nor in four years".

Bolaños to coordinate over Vice President Díaz

Thus, the Spanish government already anticipates that everything that is on the table will not be resolved with one or two meetings, but that this Wednesday is the beginning of a long negotiation. This same message came from Podemos. The Spanish executive assures that it has worked thoroughly on the issues to be addressed.

As Spanish government sources had already advanced, Sánchez and Aragonès will meet only to set the rules of the game and then join the taskforce, but will not stay until the end. In fact, after their meeting they will appear before the media and then open the meeting between the delegations. The goal is to set the groundworks for later meetings which may explore the matters in further detail. The Spanish government emphasises they are practically starting from scratch, as both governments have changed considerably since the last meeting, in February 2020.